What you need to know:
- At the fifty-minute and forty-five-second mark, the film captures the legendary Stevie Wonder introducing Swahili words into the song, leaving everyone speechless with the unfamiliar language, "Ulimwangu Latoto." Which intended to translate to ‘sisi ni ulimwengu’.
In a surprising revelation, the iconic song 'We Are the World,' crafted by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie in 1985, was originally intended to feature Swahili lyrics, The Citizen has learnt.
This revelation unfolds in the compelling one hour and thirty-seven-minute Netflix documentary, 'The Greatest Night in Pop' aired on Netflix was release on January 29, 2024.
The documentary sheds light on the remarkable recording session for the charity anthem 'We Are the World,' uniting a total of 47 pop celebrities.
At the fifty-minute and forty-five-second mark, the film captures the legendary Stevie Wonder introducing Swahili words into the song, leaving everyone speechless with the unfamiliar language, "Ulimwangu Latoto." Which intended to translate to ‘sisi ni ulimwengu’.
According to the documentary, Lionel Richie recounts Stevie Wonder's desire for a different version of the song, expressing, "Stevie said, I think we need to have some Swahili somewhere in the song."
This led to a temporary halt in the session as artiste Waylon Jennings left the studio, refusing to sing in Swahili.
The unexpected twist raised concerns among the artistes, with some fearing that including Swahili lyrics might prolong the project.
A debate ensued, with some pointing out that people in Ethiopia don't speak Swahili. However, Stevie Wonder remained steadfast, believing in the necessity of Swahili lyrics.
The documentary provides a glimpse into the frustration and exhaustion of the pop stars due to Stevie Wonder's interruption, hinting at a moment of impatience during the session.
Despite not receiving a writing credit for the song, Stevie Wonder's contribution is highlighted in the film, emphasizing his invaluable role in the creative process.
As we reflect on this revelation, one can't help but ponder how different the impact would have been if 'We Are the World' had embraced Swahili lyrics.
The untold story adds a fascinating layer to the legendary night in pop music history.